Make Better Music at High Voltage With a Bumble Bee Capacitor for Warmer-Sounding Concerts

The bumble bee capacitor is an important feature for sound quality when it comes to electric guitars. Choose from a large range of used bumble bee capacitors on eBay. Whether you are testing between models or already know what you want, there is a bumble bee capacitor for everyone.

What do the stripes on the capacitor mean?

The stripes are code for a few things. There are models with four stripes and models with five stripes. If there are four stripes, they stand for the first and second digits plus the multiplier and the voltage. This is read from top to bottom or left to right if the bands closest to the end are held to the left. All of the bands make up the value of the bumble bee capacitor. If there are five bands, they read in order from top to bottom like this:

  • First digit
  • Second digit
  • Multiplier
  • Tolerance
  • Voltage
What types of used bumble bee capacitors are there?

There are several types of used bumble bee capacitors. Some of them have never been opened, so they are technically new but they have experienced some aging. Other types are re-wrapped or refurbished with new paper or paper-polyester mixes. Still others have never received any attention and are simply used. While this may appear to diminish the value, these are actually a collector's item due to the aging. The tone is considered to be exceptionally warm on aged bumble bee capacitors. You can have the voltage tested on the capacitor to ensure that it still puts out enough volts for your volume level.

What is a bumble bee capacitor made from?

Capacitors can be made from many things. Bumble bee capacitors are a paper and oil cap model most of the time, but there are rumored to be a few that are made of paper-polyester mixes or Bakelite. The oil caps give them a darker and warmer tone than some of the other types of capacitors. The original style of bumble bee capacitors are not made anymore, so you will find a large collection of vintage options on eBay. They are filled with a type of synthetic and mineral oil that is often called Vitamin Q. Bumble bee capacitors were eventually replaced with Black Beauties. There are reissue bumble bee capacitors at a much cheaper price than the vintage types, but they are made with other materials like foil and Mylar. Their sound is quite different from the vintage types.